When James Hartman was studying art in San Francisco, he became fascinated with the Society of Six painters, a group of artists that painted outdoors and exhibited together in the Bay Area in the 1910s and 1920s. His “en plein air” paintings of the California landscape pay tribute to some of the great Bay Area artists of the past.
The flat planes, impressionist brushstrokes, and exciting color play are reminiscent of Richard Diebenkorn. His work is especially intriguing in the angles he creates, and how they move your eye through the landscape. Repeating shapes, such as the triangular shadows of houses or the oval forms of sailboats, draw you through the scene.
There is complexity and steadiness, with zigzagging compositions achieving both depth and balance. James pulls a lot of color out of the landscape, accentuating shadows and light with bright hues. His work captures the way California feels, fresh and sunlit.